Pakistan's Tour of Australia - Men's
Test hopefuls face last-ditch bid for Baggy Green
Spots in Australia's Test XI are on the line as Australia A meet Pakistan in a day-night clash in Perth on Monday
10 November 2019, 06:22 PM AEST
Six batsmen will vie for two vacancies in the Australian Test team in Monday's day-night tour match against Pakistan that doubles as a national selection shootout.
It's a crowded field of Test candidates that will line up for a strong Australia A side in the three-day day-match at Perth Stadium starting on Monday at 4pm AEDT with coverage live streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
Marcus Harris, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja will be locked in a contest to partner David Warner to open the batting for Australia when the Domain Test series begins at the Gabba on November 21.
Travis Head and Will Pucovski will also front up for the day-night clash, with one of them expected to fill the No.5 spot in the Test side, behind Steve Smith and ahead of Matthew Wade.
Nic Maddinson had been set to join them in the Australia A side and was considered a smokey in the race for a middle order Test spot but has withdrawn on mental health grounds. Western Australia batter Cameron Bancroft is his replacement.
Head was Australia's vice-captain during the Ashes but that didn't spare him from being axed for the deciding fifth Test at The Oval.
The left-hander's century against a Josh Hazlewood-led NSW attack in the last Marsh Sheffield Shield round has put him in the box seat to edge out talented youngster Pucovski and fill the middle-order vacancy.
National coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns are expected to sit down on Wednesday to pick their squad for the Gabba.
"We won't just pick it on current form. That's important to realise," Langer said.
"Current form is important, what guys have done in the past over their careers is important, what they've done in the last six months is important.
"You saw with the way we selected this T20 side ... we're getting really specific about the sort of players we want.
"A lot of it selects itself but there'll be a couple of spots up for grabs, I reckon. And it'll be a tough call because there's a lot of talent in Australia."
Warner will miss NSW's Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia starting on Monday at the SCG to be with his unwell daughter.
Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon will line up for the Blues.
Marnus Labuschagne will tune up for the first Test in Queensland's clash with Victoria, who have named 17-year-old batsman Jake Fraser-McGurk to debut at the MCG.
Skipper Tim Paine and fellow Tasmanian Matthew Wade are the other Test incumbents.
Pakistan have brought a youthful pace attack to Australia including 16-year-old Naseem Shah and 19-year-old Muhammad Musa.
Musa clocked 147km/h on international debut during Friday's T20 decider in Perth.
"It's going to be a good experience for the youngsters who have come in," veteran Pakistan quick Wahab Riaz said.
"Obviously we know that Australian players are good hookers and pullers of the ball and they play the cut shot really well.
"So bowling within the stumps and pitching the ball a little bit more up is more effective to them."
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: TBC
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
Warm-up match: v Australia A, November 11-13, Perth Stadium (d/n)
Warm-up match: v Cricket Australia XI, November 15-16, WACA Ground
First Test: November 21-25, Gabba (Seven, Fox & Kayo)